New York Genome Center taps U. of Buffalo for computing horsepower

In its short history, the New York Genome Center (NYGC) has bulked up quickly to compete with the established genomics powerhouses, advancing from pilot labs at The Rockefeller University to its own 16,000-square-meter site. Now, it is tapping the University of Buffalo for the computing might needed to handle Big Data storage and complex analytics.

The collaboration is the result of a $105 million, state-initiated attempt to kick-start genomics in New York City and Buffalo. Each partner will receive a roughly even cut of the funding--which NYGC plans to match with cash from other sources--to advance genomic medicine in New York. Buffalo will use its $50 million to boost capacity at its Center for Computational Research ahead of NYGC relying on the site for large-scale data storage, complex analytics and other high-performance computing work.

In the short term, NYGC will continue to perform some of this work at its Manhattan genomics hub, but as its activities scale up Buffalo expects to take over all data storage. Becoming a key part of the genomics project is a major boost for Buffalo, a city 290 miles northwest of New York that is the target of a $1 billion state investment initiative. Buffalo expects to create up to 600 jobs as a result of the $50 million investment and ongoing collaboration with NYGC.

Some of the jobs will be created by companies setting up in Buffalo, in part to tap into its computing and genomics capabilities. Germany-based AESKU plans to create up to 50 jobs over the next 5 years as it sets up and grows its diagnostic test production plant. Lineagen, another testing business, also plans to hire 8 people in Buffalo later this year. AESKU and Lineagen are two of 5 firms slated to work with the Buffalo-NYGC genomic partnership.

- read The Buffalo News' coverage
- here's Buffalo's press release
- and NYGC's announcement